Free Oil Painting Instruction and Courses

Free Online Oil Painting Course Info

Free online oil painting instruction and courses aren't usually found through public or not-for-profit schools. Students can usually find these resources on art-related websites. After completing these training materials on their own time, students won't be able to earn any college credit.

Andrew Whyte

  • Oil Painting for Beginners is taught through text and pictures. It covers topics in oil paints, pigments, canvases, varnishing, fat on lean rules, required tools, thick on thin rules and brush care.
  • Painting Landscapes provides training through 7 video lessons. Topics addressed include painting foregrounds and midgrounds, clouds, the sky, reflections in the water and background base tones.

Art Instruction Blog

Tutorials offered through this website are provided by various artists. The free lessons are presented through step-by-step instructions using text and pictures.

  • Grisaille Underpainting Technique shows students how to use blacks and whites to help develop a painting prior to adding color.
  • How to Paint a Sunset in Oils Step-by-Step instructs on how to establish backgrounds; sketch dark and light areas; apply and blend background colors and foreground paints; and provide touch-ups.
  • Still Life Oil Painting Demonstration allows students to learn about sketching figures, underpainting, painting a final form, adding detail and overpainting.


These free online tutorials present topics through step-by-step instructions with pictures and text.

  • Grand Canyon North Rim covers topics in sketching, applying shadows, picture lightening, landscape painting basics, applying sunlight and use texture.
  • Landscape Painting is separated into 13 chapters that cover sketching from nature, painting materials, trees, skies, grass, reflections and subject selection.
  • Wildlife Oil Painting-Tiger Eyes focuses on adding detail by starting from pencil sketches. During this tutorial, students may learn how to add colors, enhance hair details, add texture and add visual depth.

Bill Martin's Guide to Oil Painting

  • Bill Martin's Guide to Oil Painting provides insight through explanatory text and related training pictures. During this training guide, students may encounter topics in painting materials, lighting, paint thinner, blending paint, contrast, drawing and matching colors. Students can also participate in free oil painting exercises that cover color and form, distance and texture, basic forms and color value scales.

Students can expect to find step-by-step instructions and pictures when following this website's tutorials.

  • Flemish Technique teaches students how to paint photorealistic pictures using oil paints. When following each stage of development, students may learn tonal drawing and painting, canvas preparation, glazing, scumbling, body color, blending and highlights.
  • Oil Painting Techniques teaches flat wash, blending, scumbling, gradation, dry brush, underpainting and impasto.
  • Painting from a Photograph provides insight on required painting materials, preparatory drawing, paint application, painting darker areas, when to use different paint brushes and utilizing negative space.

Oil Painting Techniques

A majority of the content covered on this website is provided through text. Some tutorials also provide pictures.

  • Oil Painting Techniques allows students to learn about glazing, portraits, tonal and color harmony, pigments, brushes, composition and aesthetics. This website also gives students insight on selling their work or selecting art classes, as well as resources to art-related websites, textbooks and magazines.

Winsor and Newton

  • Oil Color Hints, Tips and Techniques includes reading materials and pictures that cover varnishes, brushes, surfaces, mediums, solvents and colors.
  • Oil Painting Techniques provides information through videos that can be streamed or downloaded. These videos explain how to oil out a painting, create watercolor washes, follow oil painting rules, varnish an oil painting and create reflections.
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